Tantra Yoga is based on the worship of female energy Tantra Yoga is one of the oldest forms of Yoga, and is based on the worship of ‘Shakti’, the elemental female energy. Tantra concentrates on merging with the Ultimate by the arousal and tapping of sexual energy. The Tantras are inspirational scriptures that seek to provide spiritual strength, wisdom, and eternal bliss, and the history of Tantra Yoga goes back to the ancient fertility cults of India. According to the Tantra School, spiritual strength depends upon Kundalini Energy. This energy is trapped at the base of the spine but can be released with practice and hard work. When this happens, the active life force (prana) begins to move upward, through the seven chakras toward the head. The power that lies dormant is roused through Tantra Yoga; this power travels through the six chakras- from Muladhara to Ajna, till it finally reaches the seventh chakra- the Sahasrara Chakra at the crown of the head. Although a number of knowledgeable books have been written on Tantra, such as Mahanirvana and Kularnava Tantras, it is virtually impossible to grasp the entirety of Tantra based on books alone. It is only through thorough understanding and actual practice that one can excel in Tantra Yoga. To that end, it is essential to have a mentor or ‘Guru’, who holds the key to this secret doctrine. These Gurus are also called as Tantrikas or the Tantric Acharyas. The person seeking to attain wisdom in Tantra must be capable of purity, faith, devotion and dedication, dispassion, humility, courage, cosmic love, truthfulness, non-covetousness, and gratification to the Guru. Without these traits, the student can never achieve the true essence of Shaktism. Self-study is not an option, and hence the Guru should be the spiritual preceptor. It is only through a Guru who will give you, by Diksha (initiation), the right perspective through which you can study and practice the scriptures. An important rite of Tantric Yoga is called Bhuta Suddhi, which means the cleansing of the five essential elements that make up the human body; it is through this cleansing procedure that the devotee can ‘shed’ his or her sinful body to give way to a new, pure body and thus come closer to Shakti by infusing into the new body the life of the Devi (Goddess).
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